As smart and computer-capable and adept at English as the people in these call centers are, they do not have a clue about the American psyche or colloquialisms. It would not be much different for the British. I am quite sure they would not want to have to speak to Americans with our misuse of their language. We too get annoyed with their funny words like tube, lift and roundabout.
I don’t even like that I have to call across the country to get my newspaper delivered when there is a problem. For example, Daily Variety has a call center in Iowa for a publication read in New York and Los Angeles. If I have a problem with delivery I speak to someone who has never been to Los Angeles and probably thinks Malibu is adjacent to Beverly Hills. These kind of cost efficiencies are nothing but customer antagonizers.
You may remember McDonald’s was toying with the idea of having their drive-thrus hooked up to India to place your order, then downloaded to computer screens at the restaurants. Can you imagine some stoned twenty-year-old with the munchies trying to place an order for a Big Mac and fries from a person in India? That would be fodder for multiple skits on Saturday Night Live.
Sometimes capitalists follow trends without ever thinking their way through the effects. Some jobs make sense to operate in a foreign country. Because of their historical cultural ties, India makes sense. Most Americans would prefer to speak with Cindy in Texas or Ben in Pennsylvania who really understands their needs. Thankfully, corporate America seems to be waking up to that.
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